Kin Sen Thai Noodle has authentic khao soi in Ang Mo Kio
My friends who’ve known me long enough can attest to my immense love for khao soi—the iconic Thai curry noodle dish that constitutes the bulk of my diet on my yearly trips to Chiang Mai. Yet, despite waxing lyrical about this award-winning Northern Thai dish, I’ve not found a legit rendition here in Singapore. That’s until I visited Kin Sen Thai Noodle, a hidden gem in the residential estate of Ang Mo Kio.
Food at Kin Sin Thai Noodle
Kin Sen is a humble hawker stall run by Chef Omjai Chanta, affectionately known as Om. The chirpy chef who helms from Chiang Mai has been living in Singapore for around 15 years, after marrying a local.
The menu is straightforward with an assortment of familiar Thai mains, alongside some sides for sharing.
We wasted no time and dived straight into her signature Thai Chicken Curry Noodle ($6) AKA khao soi. For the uninitiated, khao soi is a famous Northern Thai street food that was recently crowned “best soup in the world” by Taste Atlas last year.
On first sip, Chef Om’s rendition boasted a full-bodied gravy that was slightly thicker than the ones I’ve had in Chiang Mai. The smooth and creamy broth came with a slow burn, tempered by rich, lemak notes. It was also less sweet than I’d expected—a pleasant surprise as I often found the ones in Thailand a tad cloying at the halfway mark.
This khao soi was excellent, especially with all the necessary fixings to cut through all the richness: preserved greens, raw red onions, as well as a fresh lime wedge to squeeze over for some brightness and acidity. Not to forget the quintessential deep-fried egg noodle strips that embellish the dish and make it what it is.
Chef Om uses flat egg noodles that are directly imported from Thailand, but the crispy strands on top are deep-fried in-house using local noodles. The former paired well with the coconutty broth, though I wish they were slightly more al dente.
Another small gripe I had was the choice of meat used. Each bowl comes with two small chicken drumettes, which I felt weren’t as shiok as say, a drumstick or thigh. Nonetheless, kudos to Chef Om for a decent execution of the meat—the chicken was tender enough.
If you want something less indulgent, the Thai Noodle Thick Soup ($5.50) might be up your alley. Our bowl was packed to the brim with chewy Thai rice noodles, chunks of pork, meatballs, veggies, and a piece of daikon.
Imported from Thailand, these slippery rice noodles were QQ and chewy, but make sure you tuck in stat or they’ll turn soggy. The noodles also soaked up the herbal broth well, which had prominent notes of star anise and cloves. This hearty bowl of noodles tasted just like what I’d get in Thailand!
Then you have the radish, which rounds out the savoury components with its pleasant bittersweet notes. I just wished there was more than just one piece in each serving.
At this point, Chef Om comes out of her stall to remind us to try her house-made chilli. It’s very spicy, she warns.
We were encouraged to add a smidgen to the soup, which we did and enjoyed, but I challenged myself by dunking a piece of pork into the saucer as well. As soon as I took a bite, the spice shot up my nose and I found myself breaking into a sweat. Take this as your warning sign to tread with caution if you’re not well-acquainted with spicy food.
This potent chilli is a secret blend of spices that Chef Om refuses to let me in on. It’s more savoury and aromatic, which balances out the sweetness of classic Thai fare.
I actually preferred the combination of the chilli with the Thai Noodle Clear Soup ($5.50), which we got to try on the side after our shoot. This broth was lighter in flavour, which allowed the spicy chilli to shine.
We were also recommended the Omelette with Rice ($5.50) for variety. The Thai-style omelette, AKA kai jeow, is a simple dish that’s not easy to nail. It features beaten eggs seasoned with fish sauce, deep-fried in super hot oil till the ends are crispy and the omelette remains fluffy within.
I wasn’t expecting much, but this omelette was tasty and well-seasoned. Though a tad greasy, it went well with the jasmine rice and sweet chilli sauce on the side. I think this would work better with other sides for a more complete meal.
Ambience at Kin Sen Thai Noodle
Kin Sen Thai Noodle sits in a quiet, nondescript coffeeshop along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5. It’s an 11-minute walk from Mayflower MRT Station on the brown line, or a five-minute bus ride from Yio Chu Kang MRT Station—not the most convenient if you don’t stay in the area.
The good news is the same coffeeshop also houses Wano Niku, a popular stall with affordable Japanese barbecue, so there’s more reason for you to make the journey!
After our visit to Kin Sen, I must say that the raving reviews online were well-warranted. This humble stall is an underrated gem that’s worth the trip even if you don’t reside in Ang Mo Kio, as long as you love khao soi. I’ll be bringing my Thai food-loving family here very soon!
Another note-worthy hawker stall in Ang Mo Kio is Tham’s Roasted Delights, which sells Peking duck by an ex-restaurant chef. Or if you’re making a trip to Chiang Mai soon, read all about Khao Soi Mae Sai, a Michelin-recommended stall with affordable khao soi.
Address: 181 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, #01-2922, Singapore 560181
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12pm to 3pm, 5pm to 8:30pm
Tel: 8810 4763
Kin Sen Thai Noodle is not a halal-certified eatery.
Photos taken by Ke-ian J Leong.
This was a media tasting at Kin Sen Thai Noodle.